A.D. Thompson

When it comes to the best dog breeds, just about any breed – or a wonderful “Heinz 57” mutt from the pound – can make a great apartment dog. There are just certain breeds that, traditionally, do well in multifamily living environments.

Apartment living has some constraints that homes don’t, like being very close to your neighbors, so all barking is much louder. Some apartment dwellers are very active, but you don’t have the ability to just let your dog out the back door to run around in your yard, so dogs that like a really active lifestyle might not be the best to have in an apartment.

That said, here are some of the best apartment dogs if you’re considering adding a furry roommate to your apartment life.


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These adorable little “hot dogs” are expert snugglers who love burrowing beneath blankets and cuddling up to their loved ones. The smallest of the hound breeds, they enjoy a good run – but the bonus here is that with legs just a few inches long, you can give them all the toy-fetching exercise they need right in the house! They also don’t jump on things all the time – with those legs, they can barely jump, keeping most of the higher areas of the apartment safe.


bichon frise

Bichon Frise

Fluffy, French and altogether fashionable in appearance, Bichons shed very little, though they will need regular grooming to stay kempt. Energetic, loving and bright, the Bichon makes a wonderful companion. While they do enjoy a walk, they’re happy to be little movie-watching couch potatoes, as well.


chinese crested dog

Chinese Crested

These interesting-looking little love dogs come in a powderpuff and hairless variety. The hairless are very easy to maintain, as you might imagine – though they can get cold and should own a few sweaters! Weighing up to 12 pounds, they of course need regular walks but don’t require a large amount of exercise and do very well in apartments.

Related: Top 10 Dog Names

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

These dogs are like giant Dobermans that have been hit with a shrink ray! Miniature Pinschers (or Min-Pins, as they are often called) have a similar appearance to the Doberman, but are actually a distinct and older breed. Standing roughly 10”-12” tall at the shoulder, these tiny titans average out to about 11 pounds, and make wonderful watchdogs, as they’re alert and suspicious. Also adorable.

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Shiba Inu

Are you an experienced dog owner who loves taking your dog out for exercise? If so, the foxy-looking Shiba, which hails from Japan, often makes one of the best apartment dogs! Shibas have lots of energy, so if running – either in tandem or turning your pup loose at the dog park – on a daily basis sounds like you, this is definitely a breed to consider.

See Also: Dog-Friendly Apartments …. What you Need to Know


We know. You’re probably thinking, ‘How can these dogs – with their racing backgrounds – be one of the best dog breeds for apartments?!’ But they are! Long, lanky and content to be lazy, the only thing greyhounds may demand of you is more couch space. They actually need very little exercise or grooming, and they’re wonderfully easygoing and quickly trained. What’s more, greyhounds are plentiful in rescues nationwide, and thus affordable to obtain.

Hot Tip: The most difficult part about greyhounds and apartments might be a weight restriction, so check on that before visiting your local rescue.


French Bulldog

Want a true couch potato? These wrinkly little lovers may not look like lap dogs, but as far as they’re concerned, they definitely are. Quiet, friendly and loving, bulldogs enjoy a good romp, but they’re fairly low-energy and very content loafing about with their loved ones . . . and a cozy apartment would suit just fine.

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Pugs have two incredibly important traits for an apartment dog: they’re small, and relatively calm. They’re also generally quiet, so likely won’t require as much training to adapt to an apartment. The big drawback is that they tend to want to be with their owners as much as possible, and don’t handle being alone very well.


cavalier king charles

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs can be a little difficult to train and require a lot of exercise, but those are about the only drawbacks. They tend to be really calm, but also highly affectionate. Plus, if you have allergy or cleanliness issues, they don’t shed very much.


Terriers (Boston, Yorkshire, Manchester, etc)

There are a lot of breed of terriers, but almost all of them are great for apartment living. They’re generally small and have a lot of energy, which frequent walks and exercise can help with. Other than that, they’re pretty low maintenance, including minimal shedding.



About The Author

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.